AN- so sorry for the long absence! The last chapter was just so short, and so forced, though; I didn't want to risk it happening again unless I had a concrete idea as to what I wanted the chapter to be. And now I do! I can't tell you when the next chapter will be, but hopefully my muse will stick around long enough for a few more chapters to satisfy you with. Enjoy chapter 8 of Delicate Betrayal!
In this chapter- Ron muses over his actions in the Hospital Wing, Draco returns to Hermione and Harry, and a special appearance by Voldemort! Yay!
Chapter 8- What Are We Waiting For?
Ron Weasley sat despondently on his bed in the dorm, staring at the space where his once best friend's bed had sat for 5 years. After the second moth of Harry missing, though, the bed was removed from the dorm, his name was taken off class rosters, and Dumbledore had ordered a cease and desist on any and all search missions. In Ron's hand sat a paper, a letter from home, informing the red head that one of his only reasons for living was officially declared dead. The sweet, shy little boy from the platform all those years ago was dead. The Wizarding World was in chaos, but not even the realization that Voldemort could just waltz through the front gates, were the rumors, papers, and news broadcasts correct, now that Harry was gone could make him even begin to care. How could he? If he stopped worrying about the boy, there would be no one worrying. Not even a week after Dumbledore had first made the announcement, and people were back to laughing in the halls, making jokes, and even making the same stupid speculations people make when a celebrity dies. Dumbledore was by far the worst of them all, though. This man, this so-called Leader of the Light, was the one who dragged Harry into all of this in the first place, but as soon as he made that announcement, he went to work grooming poor Neville to be back up Chosen One, which was clearly beginning to get to the other boy. Neville had lost more weight then healthy, due to stress and 24/7 dueling and spell work. Along with the news of Harry's official death, was a note from his mother, telling him to keep the Chosen One safe. Ron snarled in outrage when he read this. Harry had sent he woman as his own mother, yet she too threw him away the moment he became less then useful?
So did you. The moment you saw him cuddled into Malfoy's side, you abandoned him. Ron paled. He hated it when the voice came. When the voice came, he always ended up doing bad things. Maybe if you had held onto your emotions, sweet, delicate little Harry would still be here, alive and well. You know it's your fault. He was probably outside when he was killed, clearly distressed by your brash words and actions. Trying to punch him in the face, Ronald? Really. Poor little Harry was just so upset, probably couldn't see very well, what with his eyes all teary and whatnot. Who knows where he even wandered. Maybe the Forbidden Forest? Or maybe he fell into the lake. You know he can't swim. Do you know how long it takes someone to drown in the Great Lake? With that nifty little spell the Headmaster cast on it (wanted to prevent this from happening, I'd assume) it would have taken hours. Guilt! Stop tormenting the boy. You know as well as I do that he had no control over what happened to young Harry. He doesn't even know what happened to him. Ron frowned. Of course he knew what happened to Harry. It was all in the letter. The letter is wrong, Ronald. Harry is neither dead, nor in the company of Tom Riddle. He is safe, for the moment, with your other friend, Hermione, and the Malfoy boy. We must tell you this quickly, lest others become aware of our presence, so do not interrupt. Harry is alive, in Muggle Surrey. He was deaged in a rather ingenious plan by mister Malfoy and Hermione, and resides in his old home on Privet Drive. However, he will soon be imbibing four doses of Aging Potion soon, and Hermione will need potions, which you are going to bring with you when you leave in an hour. Once Harry has returned o normal, the four of you will have a conversation, and figure out what to do next. You are going to suggest that you all go see Tom Riddle. He will be able to answer all the questions Dumbledore brushed aside. Be careful what you say in front of him though. Though he may not be what he seems, he has a temper to rival yours. Under the third floorboard where Harry's bed used to lie there is a locket. In ten minutes it will go off. It would be in your best interests to be connected to it when it does. Ron had a feeling that those voices were going to be the death of him. Save Harry, talk civilly to Hermione, Harry AND Malfoy, and convince them to go and talk to the man they all had major reasons to hate? Yeah, that'll go over well. With a sigh, he went to the bathroom to grab the anti overdose potion that was now mandatory in all dorms after Fred and George's last party. And pulled the third floorboard up with relative ease. He grabbed hold of the glowing necklace, just before it went off. He really hoped he lived to see this through.
Draco Malfoy was a calm man. He did not fuss when fussing was justified, he did not cry when crying was expected. He was a mask of stone, hiding emotions and reaction from the world. But when he got a phone call at 7 o'clock from Hermione, frantically ordering him to come back to Surrey, mask be damned, he was worried. Nothing could garner a reaction like that out of Hermione unless it had to do with Harry. And with Harry, if it garnered that reaction, it was nothing good, or even simple. Within minutes of getting the frantic phone call, he was on board a jet, speeding towards his deaged love, hoping he wasn't too late.
Tom Riddle saw himself a reasonable man. Strict, and with radical ideas, sure, but reasonable. But for some reason, all his thoughts revolved around one Harry Potter for a good part of the year. He honestly didn't know why. He felt no ill will towards the child, and was on the contrary trying to figure out how to get the boy to his side. Honestly, it shouldn't be so hard. He had taken the boy from his popularity-seeking parents, and placed him in a loving home with his father's sister and her husband and son. The boy should be grateful, in fact. But this latest Daily Prophet was worrisome. It said that his aunt and uncle and cousin abused Harry! The very people who sent regular letters, professing Harry's good deeds, and awards were abusing him? Something did not add up. He beckoned his servant over, and pressed a finger to the smaller, less noticeable mark on the man's right palm. Within seconds he was in front of the Ames' house. The small family was outside, the boy, Aidan, was throwing a ball of some sort to his father, Dan, while the mother, Hannah, was tending to her garden. Aidan was a tall, even for a seventeen year old, with a mop of curly blonde hair, and dark blue eyes. If the steadily growing swarm of females by the Ames' front gate was any indication, the boy was a hunk. A hunky beast man, according to one girl, who looked far too young to be staring at a boy with that much hunger. Dan had blonde hair and gray eyes that glittered with mirth. He had clearly heard the girl's hunky beast man comment. He was tall, too, and his face was littered with smile lines and the small crow's feet that came with a life of much laughter. Hannah, though, was proof enough that Harry was a Potter. While the boy did have the unruly hair of his father, he more closely resembled this woman, with dark ringlets that framed an Elvin face, and huge green eyes. Where Lily Potter's eyes were more of a hazel then an actual green, both Harry and this woman had clear emerald green eyes that sparkled with happiness. And both were absolutely tiny. The woman, though in her mid-thirties, early forties, couldn't be any taller then 5'2, and that was pushing it. All in all, they in no way resembled a family capable of harming a child like Harry. He was just going to call them over, when a soft 'pop' and a loud thump indicated a port key. He spun around on his heel, ready to stun whoever had appeared, when he heard three more thumps, and one really loud fuck. Before him, heaped in a pile, were Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, and Ron Weasley.
"Ron, what the hell! Why are you here? Why are we here? And where are we? Well? Answer me!" the girl was, clearly, pissed off. Her long brown hair was tied back in a messy bun, and her brown eyes were fairly glinting with rage. The redhead, Ron, was groaning, shoving the pale body of Draco Malfoy off of his legs, and all the while keeping a tight hold on the much smaller form of Harry Potter.
"I'm here because Dumbledore is ruining the school, and the Wizarding World. I don't know why you're here, or where we are. I'm also wondering why Voldemort is here. Call me crazy." The redhead bit back with surprising wit. Potter sat up with a moan, a hand at his head.
"Where are we, Mione? This doesn't look like Privet Drive." The boy realized he was sitting on someone, and gasped, trying to get off of him or her. In doing so, he kicked Draco in the head, effectively waking the blonde teen.
"Oh bloody hell! What was that for?" Harry pulled the tall teen up, and did the same for Weasley, before blushing.
"Sorry, Dray. I didn't see you." Weasley sighed.
"Am I the only one who's noticed that we are all standing in front of Voldemort, chitchatting?" Harry rolled his eyes.
"We know he's not a bad guy, Ron. Dumbledore is. I haven't had a nightmare or vision since we left Hogwarts. So calm down." The redhead nodded, and the four turned as one to face Tom.
"Did you bring us here?" asked Harry, head cocked to the left. Tom shook his head no.
"I came to see your family, and you were not here. Now you are. Are these not the relatives I sent you to?" By now the Ames' had noticed the commotion, and were walking over to where the four teens had appeared, concerned.
"Are you four alright?" Hannah asked, wiping her soil covered hands on her jeans carelessly. Her eyes roamed critically over the four, searching for any signs of injury. When her eyes met the matching green of Harry, she gasped. She had only seen a picture, once of her younger brother's son, but those were Potter eyes. This was her nephew, she was sure of it. Behind her, Aidan and Dan took in the odd sight, the taller teens standing subtly in front of the smaller, yet more magically powerful of the four.
"Double date gone wrong?" Aidan asked, guessing the blonde's arm around the little brunette was no accident. The blonde was apparently the possessive type, because no sooner had Aidan's eyes taken a proper look at the boy that looked eerily similar to his mother he had pushed the brunette more directly behind him, growling. The brunette girl smiled, a little uneasy.
'You don't want to be looked too closely at Harry. He's Draco's submissive Soul mate, and they have yet to complete the bond." Aidan nodded, understanding. If anyone so much as blinked wrong at his mother, his father was liable to pitch a fit. He told the group so, earning a giggle from the two brunette teens, glares from the redhead and the blonde, and a smack to the back of his head from his father. His mother seemed o be in a daze. The tall man noticed this too, and suggested they move their conversation to the house. The others agreed. Aidan huffed when both the blonde and the redhead made sure their brunettes were not visible to him.
"For the last time, I am not going to steal your mates from you! Geez!" As expected, he got no response other then more glares. At least the brunettes found him amusing. He really ought to find out their names though. Calling them the brunettes seemed a little degrading, somehow.
AN- TaDa!!! Chapter 8 is over and done with. Chapter nine will hopefully come soon, but you all know how I am.